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Times Square Goes Surprisingly Chic with the New CitizenM

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Dutch hotel chain CitzenM, proprietors of European inns whose lobbies look like the living room of your impossibly stylish, probably European friends, has opened its first American branch in Times Square, the madhouse where no New Yorker would willingly venture, no matter the plans hatched to redesign it. This location is just as filled with Vitra furniture as its cousins, and the rooms are just as compact and minimal, but the communal spaces are a bit on the wilder side. But whether or not this new CitizenM is successfully rises above the bustle, it's a whole lot more stylish than one would expect from the home of Madame Tussauds, Guy's American Kitchen, and at least a dozen people in Elmo costumes at any given time.

The 21-story hotel has at its base a double-height lobby with a canopied entrance leading out onto the street. Erikjan Vermeulen, a partner at the Amsterdam-based firm Concrete, which did the architecture and interiors for the location, told Dwell that the aim was to "incorporate the dynamic of city life," by employing an entrance that "reaches over the sidewalk and emphasizes the connection with life on the street." Once inside, a 24-foot high cabinet stocked with all kinds of adorable sundries was used to "create a familiar atmosphere for everyone: a 'home away from home' for our guests," and cabinets are used to the same ends in CitizenM's Rotterdam location, which is also by Concrete.

Like the living room of your friends—the probably French ones that are too chic to actually exist—this communal space has an Eames Elephant chair, an Eames La Chaise, Hella Jongerius's Polder Sofa, and Jean Prouvé Fauteuil chairs, all by Vitra. According to Vermeulen, the effect they were going for was a "large variety of seating arrangements, all with their own intimate atmospheres but still part of the whole." The overall atmosphere was given a shot in the arm via a mural by Julian Opie, which is carved out the elevator core's granite cladding and filled in with gold leaf. The overhead lanterns in the entryway were designed by Concrete and created by Frandsen, while the communal table in front of the mural has Tom Dixon pendant lights hanging over it. To go beyond the lobby, into the diminutive rooms and the garden-like rooftop bar, head straight to Dwell.

· Bright Hotel with Spacious Communal Lobby in Times Square [Dwell]
· CitizenM: High Style, Low Prices in Rotterdam's Oude Haven [Curbed National]
· All CitizenM coverage [Curbed NY]
· All Times Square coverage [Curbed NY]
· All NYC coverage [Curbed National]
· All hotels coverage [Curbed National]